Klaipėda Region

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History of Brandenburg and Prussia
Northern March
pre–12th century
Old Prussians
pre–13th century
Margraviate of Brandenburg
1157–1618 (1806)
Teutonic Order
Duchy of Prussia
Royal (Polish) Prussia
Kingdom in Prussia
Kingdom of Prussia
Free State of Prussia
Klaipėda Region
1920–1939 / 1945–present
1947–1952 / 1990–present
Recovered Territories
Kaliningrad Oblast
Historical map of Memelland and the northern part of East Prussia.
Historical flag of the Memelland from 1919 to 1924 and de facto until 1939.
Postage stamps of the Klaipėda Region in use 1920-1925. The upper stamp is French with overprint in German "MEMEL". The other stamps are Lithuanian, one with overprint in Lithuanian and in German, the other without. The latter one was issued especially for postal use in the Klaipėda Region.

The Klaipėda Region ( Lithuanian: Klaipėdos kraštas) or Memel Territory ( German: Memelland or Memelgebiet) was defined by the Treaty of Versailles in 1920 and refers to the most northern part of the German province of East Prussia, when as Memelland it was put under the administration of the Council of Ambassadors. The Memel Territory, together with the other parts severed from Germany, the Saar and Danzig, was to remain under the control of the League of Nations until a future day when the people of these regions would be allowed to vote on whether the land would return to Germany or not.

The original Prussian Scalovian and Curonian territory was requested by the duke of Masovia and confirmed to be conquered by the[ which?]emperor and[ which?]pope, Christianized and to be administered by the Teutonic Knights, who constructed Memelburg ("Memel Castle") and the city of Memel (now usually known by its Lithuanian name Klaipėda). In 1422, a border was drawn up between Prussia and Lithuania under the Treaty of Melno, and this border existed up to 1918.

The then predominantly ethnic German Memel Territory ( Prussian Lithuanians and Memellanders constituted the other ethnic groups), situated between the river and the town of that name, was occupied by Lithuania in the " Klaipėda Revolt" of 1923. It was annexed by Nazi Germany in March 1939 and immediately reintegrated into East Prussia, just half a year before the outbreak of the Second World War. In the final stages of the war in 1945 it was occupied by Soviet forces, and was formally annexed by the Soviet Union in 1946, cleared of its native German population, and made a part of the Lithuanian SSR in 1948. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990, it has been part of the Republic of Lithuania, contained within Klaipėda and Tauragė Counties. The border that was established along the river by the Treaty of Versailles remains in effect as the current international boundary between Lithuania and the Kaliningrad Oblast of Russia.


Timeline with changes of control over the territory
pre-1252 Curonian and Scalovian tribes
1252–1525 Livonian Order and Monastic State of the Teutonic Knights (also Monastic State of Prussia)
1525–1657 Duchy of Prussia, a fief of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (with Prussia in personal union with Brandenburg since 1618)
1657–1701 Duchy of Prussia, a sovereign state in personal union with Brandenburg, a fief of the Holy Roman Empire (together also called Brandenburg-Prussia)
1701–1871 Kingdom of Prussia
1871–1918 Kingdom of Prussia, part of the German Empire
1918–1920 Free State of Prussia, part of Weimar Republic
1920–1923 Council of Ambassadors
1923–1939 Republic of Lithuania
1939–1945 Nazi Germany
1945–1948 Russian SFSR, part of the Soviet Union
1948–1990 Lithuanian SSR, part of the Soviet Union
1990–present Republic of Lithuania
Other Languages
Afrikaans: Memelland
беларуская: Клайпедскі край
Deutsch: Memelland
Esperanto: Memel-regiono
Bahasa Indonesia: Wilayah Klaipėda
magyar: Memel-vidék
Nederlands: Memelland
norsk: Memelland
norsk nynorsk: Memelland
svenska: Memelland
українська: Клайпедський край